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2024 Driftless Region Beef Conference

Herd of cattle eating grass in a patr
Event Date(s)
Event Time
Grand River Convention Center, Dubuque, Iowa
Event Fee

Adopt beef production practices that fit where you live.

Nearly 2.5 million cattle are in the driftless region of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. These states contain rolling hills, streams, and karst soil topography, so soil and water conservation are best accomplished when much of this land is seeded for forage. Since livestock consumes those forages, the 12th Annual Driftless Region Beef Conference will focus on efficient and economical forage and beef production. This conference brings together beef producers and Extension specialists from these states for an educational program that focuses on production needs and timely topics.

The program

Select from eight different workshop topics to develop a customized program. Visit the many conference sponsors in the display area and learn about the products and services they offer. Visit with fellow beef producers from the region. This is an informative and enjoyable event you won't want to miss.

Registration Cost:

  • $100 per person for registration on or before Jan. 12
  • $130 per person after Jan. 12.

January 25 Schedule

  • Measuring Sustainability Progress for Beef Production: Kim Stackhouse- Lawson, Director, AgNext, Colorado State University, Ault, CO
  • Our Changing Midwest Climate and its Impacts on Beef Production: Trent Ford, Illinois State Climatologist, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
  • LRP and LGM Livestock Insurance: A Brief Overview: Pamela Stahlke, Director, St Paul Regional Office, USDA Risk Management Agency, Eagan, MN
  • What Can Beef Producers Learn from Swine Producers in Terms of Biosecurity? Chris Rademacher, Clinical Professor, Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • AgrAbility: Richard Straub, Co-director, AgrAbility, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
  • Connecting to the Beef Checkoff: Tammy Vaassen, Executive Director, Wisconsin Beef Council, Verona, WI; Al Lyman, Cattle and Grain Farmer, Hadley Farms, Cambridge, IL; Steve Springer, Producer and Wisconsin Cattlemen's Beef Board, Linden, WI

Evening Session

  • Bull pen discussion: W. Travis Meteer, Beef Extension Educator, University of Illinois, Baylis, IL

January 26 Schedule

Concurrent Sessions - choose to attend one or the other in each track.

Session A
  • A Balancing Act: Feed Resources vs. Herd Inventory: Beth Reynolds, Program Specialist, Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Growth Performance, Carcass Traits, and Feeder Calf Value of Beef x Holstein and Holstein Feedlot Steers: Melanie Pimentel Concepción, Graduate Student, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Session B
  • Effects of creep feed duration in a dry lot system on cow and calf performance: Dan Shike, Professor, Animal Science, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • Tools to evaluate market conditions, identify trends, and inform business decisions: Lee Schulz, Associate Professor, Economics and Extension Livestock Economist, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Session C
  • Pros and Cons of Bale Feeding Strategies: Dr. Dennis Hancock, Center Director, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, USDA-ARS, Madison, WI
  • Feedlot biosecurity: Grant Dewell, Beef Extension Veterinarian, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Session D
  • Repro/Technologies/Calving Distribution: Randie Culbertson, Assistant Professor and Extension Cow-calf Specialist, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Fuel for the Journey: Overcoming Transit Stress in Feedlot Cattle: Stephanie Hansen, Professor, Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Closing Session
  • Beef Market Outlook: Lee Schulz, Associate Professor, Economics and Extension Livestock Economist, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

The early registration fee is $100 per person and must be received prior to midnight, Jan. 12. The price increases to $130 after that date. More information on topics, speakers, and lodging is available at Online and mail registration forms are available on the conference website.

The Driftless Region Beef Conference is sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, University of Illinois Extension, and University of Wisconsin Extension. For more information or to receive a brochure, contact Denise Schwab, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, at 319-472-4739.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact